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Web 2.0 and School Administrators
Thursday, 28 August 2008
Google Reader in Plain English
Topic: Emerging Technologies

Lee at Common Craft has just posted a new Plain English video. This one explains Google Reader in just a couple of minutes. Great way to help staff grasp the concept!



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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 9:34 AM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 28 August 2008 9:40 AM PDT
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
Texting In Its Place
Topic: E-Communication

Last Sunday's newspapers contained two interesting stories about students and texting. The first, "Teen Texting Expert Insists on Being Perfect," appeared in the Washington Post. LG Electronics recently sponsored a national texting contest, and 14 year-old William Glass III was a finalist. Nothing remarkable about that until you learn that Glass refuses to use text-speak. He spells out every word and even uses proper punctuation!

Glass clinched a regional championship, but lost the national contest. That's okay. It's great to know that texting doesn't have to preclude spelling and punctuation. And--he had a great time!

The second article, THX 4 THE GR8 INTRVU! appeared in the Seattle Times. Apparently some of what we've taught kids about being polite has penetrated. High school and college students are remembering to send thank you notes after an interview. Unfortunately, instead of using traditional pen and ink, or even less traditional, but still acceptable formal email, interviewees are texting their appreciation and potential employers don't like it. Why? They say the practice "hints at immaturity and questionable judgment."

Employers also don't want to be 'friended' by interviewees. When one job candidate found the interviewer's personal Facebook page and invited her to be his friend, her reaction was extremely negative. "I'm not his friend. I'm not even his employer. I was somebody who just interviewed him. They call is social networking for a reason."

Seems to me both these articles would make a great foundation for life and career skills lessons on separating personal and professional use of technology.  


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:55 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 13 August 2008 11:01 AM PDT
Tuesday, 5 August 2008
The World Is Flat- Free Audio Version (until 8/11/08)
Topic: Leadership Issues

If you've read The World Is Flat, you know how good it is and may be interested in a quick review. If you haven't read the book, now's the time. Between now and August 11, you can download a free audio copy of the book. Click on this link.

This is a book that every school administrator needs to read and share with staff, parents, and the community. 


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 3:05 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 5 August 2008 3:15 PM PDT
Friday, 25 July 2008
Online Teaching--Increasing Coveted Positions
Topic: Emerging Technologies

Today's Washington Post includes an article about online teaching position. According to "The Odd World of E-School Teachers," interest is growing in online teaching jobs, particularly those where teachers can give up face-to-face teaching altogether. Most positions at this point are at the high school level.

Does this interest signal a shift in adult attitudes about the value of online courses? What kind of special training do online teachers need to be really effective? These questions and others are addressed. 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 2:12 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 25 July 2008 2:15 PM PDT
Monday, 30 June 2008
Refreshed Technology Standards for Teachers
Topic: Leadership Issues

ISTE released the refreshed NETS for Teachers this morning at NECC. The revised standards are aligned with the refreshed NETS for Students released last summer and focus more on how the technology is used and much less on how to use the technology. Learn more here.

This afternoon the last phase of this first NETS refresh cycle began with a meeting where attendees began looking at how to update the NETS for Administrators.Similar meetings will be held throughout the year at various conferences and events. You can learn more on the NETS Project page. 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 8:04 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 30 June 2008 8:07 PM PDT
Friday, 27 June 2008
HP Mini-Note
Topic: Emerging Technologies

I'm having trouble getting my Verizon USB modem to work well with the Mini-Note. One time it seems to be okay and the next it refuses to allow me to log in.

Also, I did a simple System Restore this morning in the Nashville Airport to remove something I'd installed. It took 45 minutes!!! My eeePC is looking better all the time! 

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 11:14 AM PDT
Thursday, 26 June 2008
Off to NECC
Topic: Leadership Issues

This is the lengthiest break I've taken from blogging since I got started nearly three four years ago. Many things conspired to push the blog to the back burner--the project I mentioned in my last post, a prospectus for a new book on mobile technologies in classrooms, and prepping for a series of sessions and workshops throughout May, June, and July. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and am really looking forward to NECC. I hope to see many friends, learn something new each day I'm there, and share that learning here.

In the meantime, just a mention that I'm trying to look more deeply into UMPCs. Purchased an HP Mini-Note shortly after their release. There are some things I like a lot (nearly full-sized keyboard and the 120GB drive. Also the 9" display is great. However, there are some real drawbacks as well (Vista crawls on it, the battery life is ridiculously short at 3 hours, and the extra one-half pound feels surprisingly heavy when compared to my eeePC). In addition, at $549 plus tax and shipping, it's over $600. All said, it may be an alternative for adults who resist the eeePC.

Posted by sjbrooks_young at 6:12 PM PDT
Updated: Friday, 27 June 2008 11:11 AM PDT
Saturday, 17 May 2008
Need Resources
Topic: Leadership Issues

I'm working on a project where I need to identify international technology standards for K-12 students, teachers, and administrators as well as frameworks for 21st Century learning skills. I'm hoping that someone who reads this blog might be able to provide some leads.

In addition to the usual suspects (e.g., ISTE, UNESCO, ITEA, Partnership for 21st Century Skills) are there any documents of this type that you're aware of? If so, would you mind posting links or other contact information here as a comment? Or, if you know someone who might have the information I'm seeking, would you email me a name and email address ( Thanks!

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 1:32 PM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 17 May 2008 1:35 PM PDT
Wednesday, 30 April 2008
Webtools for Wducators Wiki
Topic: Emerging Technologies

If you haven't visited the Webtools for Educators wiki recently, drop in and check out the updates. There's been a real flurry of activity there lately. Areas with new listings are identified in the Sidebar.

If you notice that one of your favorite Web 2.0 tools is missing, please add it! The password for editing is 'webtools' (no quotes). 

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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 7:57 AM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 30 April 2008 7:59 AM PDT
Saturday, 26 April 2008
Twitter: Distractor or Tool?
Topic: Leadership Issues

I set up a Twitter account quite a while ago and promptly forgot all about it. Then last March, while at the CUE conference in Palm Springs, I was feeling guilty about not blogging and realized that I could at least Tweet. So, I looked up my account information and got started. Since that time, I've added a Twitter stream to my blog, I have acquired a few followers and and am following a few folks myself, but I still am a fairly conservative user. I Tweet once or twice most days, but don't check the site in between times.

In my reading there seems to be two camps about's either a great tool for quick connections or just another distractor. This morning I came across this article from CNN. It seems that a U.C. Berkeley grad student who was arrested at a demonstration in Egypt was able to Tweet a one word message using his cell phone while on his way to jail, "Arrested."

Within minutes, his Tweet network was working in Egypt and stateside to get him released. The article alludes to other recent incidents where Twitter has been used during natural disasters or dangerous political situations to maintain contact with an outside network. Now I need to think some more...


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Posted by sjbrooks_young at 10:50 AM PDT
Updated: Saturday, 26 April 2008 10:53 AM PDT

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